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The Dickinson St. Benedict's Health Center is presenting its 16th annual candelight dinner with this year's theme "Land of the Spirits." The event is Sunday, Feb. 24, at Dickinson's Days Inn-Grand Dakota Lodge.
Heather Nelson appreciates the care she receives as a resident of Dickinson's St. Luke's Home. But as a 21-year-old woman, the days can be long and lonely. Heather was born with congenital myopathy. The condition causes loss of muscle tone and muscle weakness. Doctors suggested she could possibly die as a child. But she proved them wrong. She graduated from Richardton-Taylor High School and lived independently in Dickinson until last March. "I needed extra help," she said. "I can use my hands, but I can't walk." Since she arrived at St. Luke's, the disorder has progressed.
Scranton's Tiffany Krinke, 21, has the opportunity to showcase her singing talent as one of eight finalists in the 2008 Marketplace Talent Search on Jan. 15 in Grand Forks. She qualified to compete after finishing in first place at Bismarck's regional competition. "I've been singing since I probably was 4 years old," said Krinke from her home south of Scranton. "I've always sung for the Bowman County Fair, at football games, funerals and weddings.
Dickinson's Meghan Bartz takes the reader along on her train trip and vacation to Florida in a newly published 51-page book. The book printed by Publish America is titled "A Conquest of Knowledge: St. Augustine by Train." "I wrote it as my senior (writing) project," said Bartz. "It's a daily log of everything that happened." Bartz grew up in Dickinson and had never traveled alone before. "I wanted to find out more about myself. I wanted to become less ignorant about the world," she wrote.
The Best Friends Mentoring Program looks to expand its services in southwestern North Dakota after receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The three-year grant is valued at $188,739 the first year, followed by $185,171 for each of the second and third years. "We received the grant to expand our mentoring services," said Executive Director Kris Fehr. "We're the only one in North Dakota to receive the grant. It is highly competitive. At a grant meeting in Washington, I learned they had over 1,700 applications.
Walkers intent on getting their exercise during the winter months have a safe haven at the Dickinson State University Scott Gymnasium. The AARP exercise program is open to everyone who wishes to avoid walking outside. "We walk three days a week for an hour. We exercise before and after," said coordinator Ben Frank. "Because of the weather, people like to walk inside. It's been pretty raw the past few weeks -- windy and cold." Twenty-seven walkers have registered, but anyone can join at any time. The program is free. "There's no restrictions.
January's cook of the month Diane Pommerer shares several recipes her family has come to love over the years. She prefers to make brownies from scratch rather than rely on a box mix. "They're more homey. They're kind of like a cake texture," she said. "Don't overbake. If you overbake, the brownies get hard." Sour cream burgers were a special treat for her husband after a basketball game. "He was a basketball coack and he enjoyed this snack after coming home from the gym," she said. Hamburger is simmered with sour cream in a skillet.
Gladstone's Leah Walters, 18, has qualified as one of eight finalists for the 2008 Marketplace Talent Search. She was one of more than 90 individuals who auditioned at regional competitions around the state. The finalists are performing on Jan. 15, the night before Marketplace for Entrepreneurs in Grand Forks. They compete for more than $10,000 in prizes and a recording session with Makoche Recording Co. Walters will perform Victor Herbert's "The Italian Street Song" for the competition. "I had performed it at my junior recital.
The staff at the Dickinson Museum Center is taking advantage of the winter months to paint display cases and to create new exhibits. The public can see the work in progress and tour the existing exhibits. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. "People are welcome to come in.
In the spirit of Christmas giving, the students at Dickinson's Hope Christian Academy did service projects on Friday, Dec. 21. "I challenged the teachers and students to look for opportunities to serve the community," said administrator Ron Dazell.